The halftime show at the Super Bowl has evolved into one of the most prestigious stages reserved only for those who have achieved superstar status, but it wasn’t always that way.
The halftime show at the first Super Bowl in January, 1967 at the Los Angeles Coliseum featured the Grambling State University Marching Band, Al Hirt and the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band. The fourth Super Bowl at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans in 1970 presented a Tribute to Mardi Gras with Carol Channing and the Southern University Marching Band.
Over the years there was a parade of marching bands and some big stars, but the Super Bowl halftime show did not become a stage for superstars until Michael Jackson performed at the Super Bowl in Pasadena in January, 1993. From that moment on, the Super Bowl halftime show became a coveted spotlight for performers because of the honor it bestowed upon those receiving that rare invitation.
This year’s halftime show has led many to question if Bruno Mars is worthy of that honor. Mars joins superstars like, Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney, Sting, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Beyonce as Super Bowl halftime entertainers.
The argument has been made that Bruno Mars is a new, young star and doesn’t have the historic resume of other stars that have graced the big game’s halftime stage.
Bruno Mars is 28 and has only been a national phenomenon since 2014. In just 4 years, he has been nominated for 18 Grammy awards and last week won 2 Grammy awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox.
The music and the style of Bruno Mars represent the present and the future with a comforting retro tribute to the 70s and 80s. “Treasure” instantly brings back memories of Earth, Wind and Fire and the current hit, “Locked Out of Heaven” bares striking similarities to the Police in the 80s.
The reinvention of the music of the late 70’s and 80s by new artists, like Bruno Mars, is inspired by a new young generation’s infatuation with 80s music. Every Thursday night in the French Quarter, One-Eyed Jacks has 80s night that is packed with young people who were too young to have heard any of the hot 80s songs I was playing in the 80s on B-97! Yet, they seem to celebrate the positive uplifting ambience of the music of the 80s, which reflected the positive attitude of the young generation at the time. If music reflects the mood of the country for each young generation, then there are new young generations that seem to have a positive attitude about life!
The younger generations that have adopted 80s music as their own are dancing to and singing every word of songs that were not even part of their young lives. There are popular 80s nights at clubs across the country and all are attracting younger generations.
Bruno Mars is among the talented new artists that are creating the music that will define this decade – in the same way that the distinct sound of the 80s defined that decade. I applaud the NFL for selecting a young artist that represents the future, rather than relying only on those artists that have a well-established past. Bruno Mars will be performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which presents a blending of generations.
The NFL does not pay a performance fee to the performers, but considering that a 30 second commercial costs over $4 million and Bruno Mars will be on stage for about 12 minutes – that will be great advertising for his music, concerts and merchandise!
Many of the superstars that have been part of Super Bowl halftime shows have earned superstar status over the years and some still produce hits, but I like the selection of Bruno Mars because he will not only attract a younger audience, but he will win credibility with a mature audience that may not have recognized what he means to music today if he were not chosen as the halftime entertainment at this year’s Super Bowl.
This weekend is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arriving in America. For today’s Establishment – the original anti-Establishment generation from the 60s – it is appropriate that they witness a young artist who represents a new trend in music – as
The Democratic National Committee should start fund-raising events to raise money to support the possible presidential candidacy of former Arkansas governor and FOX News host Mike Huckabee!
The Republican National Committee opened its winter meetings last week in Washington with the goal of expanding the party’s appeal with women voters, younger voters and minority voters. “Change course, modernize the party and learn once again how to appeal to more people” is part of the strategy of the new “Growth and Opportunity Project” of the Republican Party. So, it is shocking that Mike Huckabee would address the meeting with his comments about women and birth control. Huckabee may have been trying to criticize President Obama and the Democrats, but instead he struck a severe blow to his own party. Democrats are celebrating, and Republicans are saying “WTF!”
In promoting the Republican Party, Huckabee said, “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are hopeless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them with their prescription each month because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government... then so be it.”
Even if you are a conservative Republican – read that again! Huckabee, like other male conservatives, is putting all the blame and responsibility for sex and conception on women. It seems to me that when it comes to sex with a woman, someone else is involved, and that someone is usually a man. In a sexual relationship, do men bear any responsibility? To even suggest that women in America need the government to give them birth control pills because they are incapable of controlling their sexual appetite totally ignores the reality that a fertile man is equally involved in sex. And in how many cases is it the man who makes the sexual advances?
The Republican Party has a national image of trying to dictate behavior, and projecting an overall insensitivity to women and minorities. I did not create that image, but it is a prevailing view of the party and there is admission within the party about the need to change. The meetings in Washington were promoted as an opportunity to project a new direction for the party, but these comments by Mike Huckabee only enhance the very same image the party is trying to get rid of.
Ironically, Huckabee himself told the meeting of Republicans that the party must widen its appeal and end its internal divisiveness. Can he possibly be that out-of-touch with the meaning of what he said about women in America?
The truth that men like Mike Huckabee do not want to recognize is that it is men who depend on the birth control pill. Men want to have sex without the consequence of pregnancy. Men are quite often unwilling to make the sacrifice of using a condom. Men can walk away from any pregnancy. And it is men that seem to demand control of issues of sex and pregnancy.
Last year during the presidential campaign, a few Republicans made controversial statements about rape, abortion and birth control as if Republican men are not benefiting from the convenience of birth control. This is the mentality that continues to cripple the Republican Party.
I mentioned in a blog last week and on “The Scoot Show” on WWL that the stage is set for Republicans to win back the White House in 2016 and that may still happen, but not if men like Mike Huckabee are leading the party’s direction.
An opportunity to send the Republican Party in a new, more inclusive direction for the midterm elections in November and the presidential election in 2012 essentially became a fund-raising speech for the Democrats.
Right now, the Republican Party continues to allow itself to be defined by extreme views, and this is political suicide for Republicans on a national level. They are operating out of fear of alienating the extreme right base of the party – the same base that greatly contributed in the loss to President Obama last November.
In his comments to a meeting of the Republican National Committee, Mike Huckabee ended a sentence with “then so be it” as a way of saying it is out of his control. So, I will end a sentence with the same words.
If the Republican Party wants to guarantee another loss in the battle for the White House by focusing on the personal issues of birth control, same-sex marriage and abortion – then so be it!
Justin Bieber was arrested early this morning in Miami Beach and charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest, and driving without a valid license. Recently, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies executed a felony search warrant on Justin Bieber’s mansion in the L.A. while investigating a felony vandalism complaint. Deputies also investigated reports that Bieber was speeding in his expensive sports car on the streets of his exclusive neighborhood. Police have investigated another complaint from a neighbor that Bieber spit on him, and there was yet another investigation into Bieber allegedly attacking a photographer for taking his picture in the parking lot of a shopping center; but this morning was the first time 19-year-old Justin Bieber has actually been arrested.
Bieber’s mug shot looks more like a publicity photo than a photo taken following an arrest. Bieber appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit with the sleeves rolled up, perhaps to show off his tattoos, when he appeared in a video link to the courtroom for a hearing this morning. He was released on $2,500 bond – which I’m sure was covered with his spare change.
I realize that when you are a young star like Justin Bieber, every aspect of your life is followed and scrutinized, but it almost seems as if Bieber has been going out of his way to get arrested.
Miami Beach police say that Justin Bieber was drag racing in a yellow Lamborghini against 19-year-old Def Jam recording artist Khalil Sharieff, who was driving a Ferrari. Sharieff was also arrested on a DUI charge.
According to police, Bieber and Sharieff were racing down a residential street in Miami Beach. The street had been blocked off by two black SUVs, apparently part of Bieber’s entourage. Jeremy Bieber, Justin’s 38-year-old father, was reportedly with one of the SUVs and helped set up the blocked street for the drag race.
Police report that Bieber made comments about drinking, smoking pot and taking prescription meds and initially was not cooperative with police – saying at one point, “What the f*** is this about?” Bieber failed the field sobriety test.
On “The Scoot Show” on WWL, I have defended young stars like Miley Cyrus, who have a right to go through the natural process of growing out of their child star images. Becoming aware of one’s sexuality as an older teen is normal and acting on that awareness with fashion and actions that challenge the pure child star image are part of a natural process, but it is difficult to defend a 19-year-old who has been displaying behavior that might be a forecast future destructive behavior.
There is nothing to celebrate about a 19-year-old who has suddenly become a young superstar with a seemingly endless supply of money who is charged with drinking and driving, resisting arrest and drag racing down a residential street. And adding to the situation is a father who was a partner-in-crime.
Justin Bieber is a very talented young man, who essentially made himself a star by posting his performances on YouTube. He was quickly discovered and became an overnight sensation. I can only image the impact that sudden change in status has on a teenager. Talented young athletes often deal with similar scenarios.
The only hope for anyone who quickly gains the status of stardom and all the money that goes with it is to have parents and real friends who are dedicated to keeping that new star grounded. The question that now comes to the minds of many is – what should parents tell their teenagers who worship Justin Bieber about the behavior that led to his arrest?
It is natural for teens and adults to blindly support their idols and not focus on their digressions, but in the case of Justin Bieber, parents should be honest about the reckless behavior that led to his arrest that could have easily led to death or serious injury. Just a few months ago in California, “Fast and Furious” actor Paul Walker was killed in an expensive high-performance sports car while apparently drag racing. Stardom and money will never make humans invincible.
And if parents are to tell their teenagers not to totally excuse negative behavior of those they idolize, then adults cannot be hypocritical and fail to accept and not excuse the behavior of those they admire. In the hearts and minds of many Americans, George W. Bush could do no wrong in the same way that Bill Clinton could do no wrong. Young rock stars are condemned for their actions that lead to death, but Mickey Mantle is revered even though he drank himself to death. Don’t be a hypocritical adult!
Whatever parents should be telling their teenagers about the arrest of Justin Bieber is exactly what we should all be telling ourselves. The status and the tangible things you can acquire that will give you a boost of incredible confidence in life, should never change who you are inside. Celebrity history is littered with tragedies that resulted from the money and status that accompanies stardom. And the feelings of being invincible are not reserved for only young, rock stars. The big stars of the business world can also be victims of status and money.
Justin Bieber should be criticized, but not condemned, for his behavior and because of who he is and the resources at hand, he will get through this just fine and that will pose another problem. How do you convince young people not to believe that if you have money and you are a star – you can get away with it!
New Orleans police are looking for suspects following a brutal attack on a New Orleans musician very early Wednesday morning in the French Quarter. Police say that Doug Potter, a local musician, was leaving a gig when he was beaten just after midnight Wednesday morning in the 800 block of Conti.
According to Doug’s brother Dave Potter, who works at WWL, robbery was apparently not the motive. If robbery was not the motive, then was the attack part of the “knockout game” in America, where people seek to throw a knockout punch hoping to render an innocent person on the street unconscious?
The reason I bring up the possibility that this attack may have been motivated by revenge stems from something someone told me recently about my attackers. I was talking to a friend in a bar and he introduced me to someone else at the table. He told his friend who I was and that I was attacked walking to the radio station in the early morning hours.
Without hesitation, the gentleman who was black, said, “They attacked you because you are white and it was about revenge, not robbery.” When I was attacked, I found it unusual that the primary attacker could feel my wallet in my front pocket and my cell phone in my back pocket during the attack. They did grab my satchel, which only contained paperwork for the show and no computer or anything of value. Why did they not steal my wallet and cell phone? Was robbery not the real motive?
If there are attacks where robbery is obviously not the motive, then the question is – what is the motivation? Are there black males roaming less-traveled streets in the early morning hours seeking to attack whites because of built up frustration for past and present racial injustice? Is there a growing attitude to “get back” at some people who are perceived to represent certain socio-economic groups that are believed to be responsible for racial injustice? If this is the case, the problem is that innocent people, like myself, are being punished for injustices that we do not support.
There are obviously more questions than answers, but these questions need to be answered. The only way to fight against an enemy is to understand the motives of the enemy.
For those who are reading this and do not listen to “The Scoot Show” on WWL on a regular basis, I feel compelled to say that identifying the suspects in my case (or any case) as black is a way to most accurately describing the suspects and in no way is an attempt to label all blacks as perpetrators or individuals with racist motives of revenge. How quickly many come to that conclusion!
Only honesty will expose whether revenge against whites is a common motive that drives some young blacks to attack innocent people on the street. And there is nothing racist about trying to determine if that is a motivation for certain street attacks.
I cannot pretend to understand what it feels like to be discriminated against because of skin color, but I do know that it is wrong to target any member of a group as guilty for racial injustice.
Even the Chairman of the Republican National Committee thinks the Republican Party is not right!
The Republican National Committee opens its winter meeting Wednesday in Washington. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus has written a strategy designed to expand the Party’s reach to include more women, minorities, gays and younger voters. The strategy is titled the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” and will attempt to change the image of the Republican Party to be more inclusive.
The plan to broaden the GOP’s appeal will target new voters and win back voters who defected for the upcoming 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election. The Republican Party has lost the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, and a recent Gallup poll shows that the Party’s favorable rating has fallen to 32%... down from 43% immediately following the re-election of President Obama last November. The same rating for the Democratic Party has also fallen, but there is a consensus within the Republican Party that an image change is desperately needed if the Party hopes to win control of Congress and the White House.
But changing the image of the GOP will not be without a fight. The Republican Party has been fighting a civil war that was obvious even before last year’s presidential election. The influence of the Tea Party and ultra-conservatives have painted the GOP with a far-right image. The battle for the soul of the Republican Party is over whether the Party should become more conservative or more moderate.
The image of the Republican Party has been damaged by Republicans with extreme views on abortion, rape, same-sex marriage and even birth control – all views that are no longer the views of mainstream Americans. The question is – does the Republican Party have the courage to divorce the extreme right-wing and much of the base in order to migrate back to a more moderate position on issues that many Americans consider social, not political issues?
Considering recent political trends, the 2016 presidential election should be the Republican’s election to lose. While Americans often resist change at every opportunity, they do seem to embrace changing control of the White House and after two terms of a Democrat in the White House, there should be a mood for change in 2016.
Furthermore, if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2016, her image as an established Washington insider will clash with the growing contempt Americans have for the political establishment. Though Americans had negative views of both parties during and following the partial government shutdown over defunding the Affordable Care Act last year, it was clear the Republican Party took the biggest hit.
There are many conservatives that assess the image of the Republican Party through the myopic perspective that includes themselves, their family and friends and conservative-based media and social media and project that perspective across the country. Those conservatives are in serious denial about the image their party holds across America. But many Republican leaders have taken honest inventory of their party, and understand that change is vital to the future life of the GOP.
The Republican Party and the top candidates cannot control the maniacal rants of local and national candidates who are so dedicated to their social agendas that winning an election is secondary to advancing their views on certain issues. And there will always be those candidates that share the view of their party through their own personal perspective and continue to blame the liberal media for their defeats. Failing to recognize that the media does not really control elections will only lead to future party losses.
With the intense rhetoric from the conservative right during the elections 2008 and 2012, and in the face of all of the dire predictions about America, President Obama was elected and re-elected. The perception that most Americans want and need the Republican Party to control America is created from the noise made by a vocal minority. It is a more silent majority that controlled the outcome of the past two presidential elections.
The Baby Boomer generation, which is now the Establishment, seems reluctant to accept the reality that new, younger generations are impacting today’s political debates. Views on same-sex marriage, abortion, minorities, immigration and a host of other issues among Americans under 40 continue to steer support away from the GOP.
The stage is set for the Republican Party to win back the white House in 2016 – but ONLY if the Party unites behind a moderate candidate that is willing to resist the temptation of the far-right to make social issues a major part of what the GOP stands for.
The far-right of the Republican Party contradicts its own ideology which is based more on individual problem-solving, rather than government intervention. Promoting government control of issues as personal as same-sex marriage continues to inspire the migration to the Democratic Party.
President George W. Bush ran as a “compassionate conservative,” which implied a moderate position. The Obama administration has not been without controversies, and as those controversies and the long-range impact of the Affordable Care Act are felt, another “compassionate conservative”-type candidate could give Republicans an advantage at winning in 2016.
If Republicans fail to field a moderate candidate, or if they fail to loudly denounce the right-wing extremists during the campaign – the Democrats could be handed the election.
Everyone should take time today to think about the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – even those who are quick to discredit his life and his purpose. Let’s all remember that no man is perfect, and even men who are imperfect can bring to the world outstanding messages!
As we look around in our own lives, we can see that much progress has been made toward equality. But when we witness the tendency to judge so many news stories and events along racial lines, we are reminded that we still have challenges ahead.
Racial segregation in 2014 is not as blatant as it was when blacks were physically segregated with separate schools, water fountains, bathrooms, banned from lunch counters and relegated to the back of public buses; but the progress realized in ending the most obvious aspects of segregation should not make us blind to the continuing, yet more subtle, forms of judgment and discrimination in America.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech should be remembered and celebrated as a message about the promise that in America, everyone should be treated equally. That historic speech focused on the injustices against blacks that contradicted the intent of our Founding Fathers. Today, the message of that speech should be applied to the injustices that still exist and the new injustices that challenge what it means to be a real American.
In remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the dreams he had for America, we can all take inventory of our hearts and minds and realize that we are truly in need of people who have dreams for this country.
I have a dream that… in this increasingly divided America, we can all realize that we are human beings first. We are humans before we are Americans. We are Americans before we are liberals and conservatives. Many Americans are willing to identify themselves first, as conservative or liberal before thinking of themselves as Americans – and nowhere is this more obvious than in Washington, D.C.
I have a dream that… all Americans will understand that freedom of speech protects the rights of others to say things they disagree with and that disagreement should be appreciated as one of the unique freedoms of being an American. As a radio talk show host, I witness a growing disrespect for freedom of speech every day when disagreement over issues so quickly becomes a reason to hate.
I have a dream that… all Americans will return to respecting and teaching the importance of personal accountability. We have become a nation that continues to show diminished respect for the concept of individuals accepting responsibility for their actions. Bartenders and wait staff now being held accountable for customers who drink too much and drive home is a perfect microcosm of a society that is willing to blame someone or something else for their mistakes in life. Another excellent example is the trend of blaming violent video games or entertainment for the violent behavior of young generations. There was a time in America when blaming a form of entertainment would never have been considered as an excuse for negative actions – why has it become acceptable today?
I have a dream that… all Americans will come to understand that life isn’t fair and that you are not entitled to a job, happiness, money or anything tangible. You are only entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I have a dream that… all Americans that stop instinctively resisting change in this country out of the fear that all change is bad. Change is the basis of everything and change is inevitable. Those who are quick to protest certain changes have reaped the benefits of past changes – so why not embrace change, rather than condemn it based on fear?
I have a dream that… parents will once again learn to be parents. You cannot always be your kid’s best friend – but you always must be their parent. For all of us to live in a civilized society, every parent must teach their children right from wrong and that there are always consequences for negative behavior. I have a dream that parents who bring children into this world will understand that their child cannot be good at everything and that failures and losses are part of the human existence. But we learn from our failures and losses how to be better at things we can be better at and we then discover what we are best at.
I have a dream that… all Americans will stop blaming the government for everything that is wrong in their lives, when most of their problems result from actions and events that are beyond the control of the government.
I have a dream that… all Americans will understand that the government cannot take away your faith or your religious beliefs and we should be afraid of those who promote the idea of the government being involved in making moral decisions about the private lives of individuals. Any alleged war on Christianity will cause no collateral damage in the faith and beliefs of those who truly have faith and beliefs.
As a society, we are easily herded into groups, which leads to enhancing our differences rather than celebrating what we have in common. Watching, hearing or reading the news on a daily basis, we can be led to believe that our power to manifest positive change is hopeless. We look to the President and other elected officials to change America for the better, when the real power to change lies within each individual American.
What we do in our everyday lives, how we react to others, how we treat others and the dreams and morality we pass on to our children are the things that define America.
Our nation is nothing more than a collection of individuals and we cannot expect our nation to be better than the individuals that make up America. So, rather than look to those we think have power, let us look at ourselves, as individuals, and realize that we have the power to change America!
And that’s the message we should focus on as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
News of the deaths of Russell Johnson, who played the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island” and Dave Madden, who played the band manager on “The Partridge Family” have inspired memories of two iconic TV shows from the past. “Gilligan’s Island” aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967 and “The Partridge Family” aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974. Both shows were on the air for only a few years, but the impact of both shows was significant due to years of exposure through syndication.
“The Partridge Family” centered on a widowed mother who was raising five children. The family formed a band, and David Cassidy, who played Keith Partridge, became a teen heartthrob as the show launched his solo singing career. Dave Madden played the often pushy manager, Reuben Kincaid.
Of the two shows, “Gilligan’s Island” had a much bigger impact on pop culture. The premise of the show was a small sight-seeing boat getting caught in a storm during a “three hour cruise” and landing on an uncharted island. Each episode revolved around different opportunities for the castaways to be rescued and return home, but every episode ended with the same outcome; they never got off the island! What was it about “Gilligan’s Island” that made it a pop culture common denominator for several generations? The simple question “Ginger or Mary Ann” reflected the obvious sexual overtones of the show. The idea of two attractive girls stranded indefinitely on a deserted island led to the male fantasy of considering which one guys would choose to be with. Both Ginger and Mary Ann represented two distinct types of girls that could not have been farther apart in nature. Ginger was the glamorous starlet type and Mary Ann was the stereotypical girl next door.
While Ginger would seem to be the obvious choice of anyone who loves women because of her overtly sexy image, the more wholesome Mary Ann seemed to be the unofficial favorite. Maybe guys could innately sense what a high-maintenance problem Ginger would be. Or, perhaps more guys preferred the extremely short shorts that Mary Ann was painted into in each episode! The shorts worn by Mary Ann were as short, or shorter, than anything I’ve seen Miley Cyrus wear. If only Mary Ann would have known about twerking!
I don’t think girls watching “Gilligan’s Island” faced the same dilemma of the selection faced by guys. Who would girls choose to partner off with: the Skipper, the Professor, Gilligan? It would seem to me that the Professor would have been the ONLY choice.
In addition to the sexual overtones of the show, there may have been other, more subconscious, reasons the masses could relate to the plight of the castaways. Maybe we found something comforting in watching the survival instincts of the castaways. Usually with the help of the Professor, the castaways had many modern conveniences created from the most basic resources on the island. The Professor’s genius creativity led to one obvious question: If the Professor could make all these things out of coconuts and bamboo – why couldn’t he fix the 3-foot hole in the boat?
Another redeeming message in “Gilligan’s Island” was the blending of different socio-economic groups. Thruston and Lovie Howell were upper-class, snobbish millionaires, the Professor was an intellectual and a science teacher, Ginger was glamorous, Mary Ann was wholesome, the Skipper represented blue-collar workers and Gilligan was the typical underdog screw up. And yet, with few exceptions, they all bonded over their dire circumstances and the common goal of getting off the island. While the characters in the show lacked real diversity in terms of race, religion, nationality and sexual orientation, their backgrounds and interests were diverse and maybe the ultimate message of “Gilligan’s Island” was that if we focus on what we have in common rather than what separates us, we can all get along.
Each episode included the hope of getting off the island and returning home. If the castaways were not devising a strategy to leave the island, outsiders either sought the island’s seclusion to escape the stress of modern society, or were lost and happened upon the island. As we watched, we all were hoping that the castaways would be rescued at the end of the episode, but with the knowledge that the TV series was based on the fact that they would never be rescued! Perhaps we all found humor in the various ways the plans to leave the island were foiled – usually by Gilligan.
TV Land is planning a “Gilligan’s Island” marathon Monday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and the show is now on Monday through Saturday from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Antenna TV is honoring Dave Madden with a “Partridge Family” marathon from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm Saturday.
Considering the premise of “The Partridge Family” and especially “Gilligan’s Island,” anyone would be challenged to find intellectual justification for investing time each week to watch either show, or in continuing to watch either show in syndicated reruns. But sometimes the redeeming value of mindless television is the mental and emotional escape it provides for all of us.
As we honor the passing of two actors who appeared in iconic sitcoms from the past, we think about which, if any, sitcoms today will survive the test of time and continue to provide memories and escapism for future audiences.
New concerns about the content of sitcoms during prime-time viewing hours are yet another reminder of why I proudly proclaim to be a hostile witness to the Baby Boomer generation!
According to a story at FOXNews.com, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently received about 100 complaints about the CBS sitcom, “2 Broke Girls.” The complaints focus on sexual overtones and content considered inappropriate for children.
“2 Broke Girls” airs at 7:30 pm on Monday nights on CBS. In 1975, the FCC established the family viewing hour from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, which was voluntarily accepted by the 3 major networks at the time – CBS, NBC and ABC. As a result of the new family viewing hour, CBS moved the top-rated “All in the Family” to 8:00 pm.
Last year, the FCC began a review of its indecency policies for cases involving isolated expletives and nonsexual nudity. That led to an outcry from some groups that predicted the use of profanity and the sight of nudity would become common on broadcast networks and would lead to the deterioration of American society.
There are some groups and individuals in America who have become obsessed with the fear that broadcast television would corrupt young America, but this obsession is nothing new. In the mid-1970s when TV producers like Norman Lear were challenging the limits to content on television with shows like “All in the Family” and “Maude,” there was deep concern that television would cause the downfall of young generations.
Interestingly, it is the Baby Boomer generation, many of whom were teens in the mid-70s, that defended the freedom of television’s bold direction which reflected the attitudes of their generation. Today, many of those who are so fearful of the impact of television’s content on youth today will look at themselves with no concern for what they were viewing during their youthful years. So, if many of those complaining today cannot document that the blatant sexual content they were exposed to is responsible for steering them in the wrong direction – where is the sound argument for that happening today?
Complaints to the FCC about “2 Broke Girls” include mention of penises, vaginas, anal sex and suggestions of masturbation. One complaint reads: “I feel this is soft porn. No wonder our country is in the condition it is when shows like this are on the air.” Another complains: “I tolerated enough when it was on cable due to the fact that I chose to purchase cable. But now public television is riddled with sexual overtones and inappropriate material for children.” Still another expressed this view: “I am asking that the FCC do their job and remove these types of television shows from our public broadcasting systems. I have served my country with honor and am proud to say that I am an American, but when we continuously allow these types of shows to air I am rather embarrassed and ashamed of us as a country.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, young viewers do not distinguish between cable and broadcast television like CBS, ABC and NBC and FOX. It is just TV to them, and really to the viewing public in general. I am continually fascinated by the hypocrisy of today’s new Establishment when it comes to judging the world today.
If anyone watches “2 Broke Girls” or any sitcom today, the premise of the shows is a definite clue to its content. I can’t imagine that anyone interested in a show like, “2 Broke Girls” would be surprised by content that some consider too sexual. It’s not as if sex terms were implied during an episode of “Little House on the Prairie.” People need to take more ownership in their decisions and stop being so quick to blame others for all the things they consider inappropriate.
Furthermore, how could the FCC ban words like "penis" and "vagina" in sitcoms and allow the same words to be used in daytime talk shows or shows that feature real doctors talking about real problems?
One of the problems continuing to worsen in America is this idea that some people want to control the world. They want to control not just what they see, but they want to control what you see. And since they do not excuse their negative behavior on TV content from their past, where is the legitimate concern that today’s youth will be adversely impacted by TV content?
A further complication with controlling content on television lies in the fact that the FCC is part of the executive branch of government. Do you seriously want the government to make decisions about what you see on television? One of the often misunderstood freedoms we have in America is a freedom of speech that is not controlled by the government. The only speech that would be censored on television or in public would be that speech that poses a direct threat to society in general. Sexual implications have not been proven to have adversely affected past young generations that now make up the Establishment.
If you don’t like a TV show because of its content – don’t watch it! If you think a TV show in inappropriate for young children – don’t let them watch it! It really is that simple - unless you are of the mindset that it is your responsibility to control the lives of others.
Far more frightening that sexual content on television is the idea that the government is in control of the content – which is why I define myself as a hostile witness to the Baby Boomer generation!
Will gun rights advocates denounce retired cop shooting man over cell phone argument?
Contrary to the belief of some Americans – not everyone should be armed and not everyone should be carrying a gun with them wherever they go – not even retired police officers!
The news story about a 71-year-old retired Tampa police officer who has been charged with 2nd degree murder following an argument over texting at a movie theater is attracting national attention. And why not? The story seems to prove that not everyone should be armed and carrying a firearm wherever they go in public.
Police say that 71-year-old Curtis Reeves got into an argument over 45-year-old Chad Oulson’s texting while watching the movie, “Lone Survivor” at a theater near Tampa, FL. Police report that when Oulson refused to stop texting a confrontation escalated and Reeves summoned a staff member from the theater. With about 10 people watching, Reeves shot Oulson, who died later in the hospital. Oulson’s wife, Nicole, was slightly injured when she tried to protect her husband.
The 71-year-old retired cop claims that he was the victim. An attorney for Reeves said that he had a right to defend himself when Oulson, portrayed as the aggressor, threw an unknown object at him, which was identified as popcorn.
A man who was waiting to go into the movie with his son said that the object thrown was, indeed, popcorn. He said that he was shocked that someone would have a gun with them at a movie theater. The witness said that Oulson fell on him and his son when he was shot and blood was coming out of his mouth and ended up on their clothes.
This is one of those freak incidents that will give ammunition to both sides of the gun control debate. First of all, what current or proposed gun laws would have prevented this tragedy? I do not understand how any gun control laws would have had an impact on the type of person who feels the need to be armed all the time – even while going to a movie. And what leads to someone feeling this need to be armed while attending a movie?
Sadly, there are many Americans who are gun-happy and they are not criminals until they allow their overzealous attitudes about guns to hijack their rational thinking.
Where is the NRA and where are the gun-rights advocates when it comes to stupidity among those who promote carrying weapons everywhere? This is a fact – if 71-year-old Curtis Reeves did not take a gun into the movie theater with him, then 45-year-old Chad Oulson would not be dead and his wife and other innocent bystanders would not have witnessed a horrific shooting at a movie theater! Reeves used a gun to protect himself against popcorn??? I’d like to think that retire cops are tough enough to deal with popcorn being thrown at them. If not, then there should be some reconsideration of the training of police officers.
This mentality is not reserved for retired police officers. The real question is – would the 71-year-old retired cop have gotten into a heated confrontation with the younger 45-year-old man if he didn’t have a gun? I doubt it.
The Second Amendment protects our rights to bear arms for protection – not to bear arms for the purpose of giving us confidence that we would not otherwise have if we didn’t have a gun. Gun rights advocates should denounce this use of a gun to gain credibility on their side of the gun-control debate. Silence equals hypocrisy.
And if anyone felt like they needed a gun to go to a local movie theater – why would they even go?
With kickoff less than 24 hours away, let’s define the three basic types of fans. There are those Saints fans that are predicting a blowout, there are the Seahawks fans and much of the national media that believe the Seahawks are going to dominate and give the Saints no chance at a victory, and then there are the fans and the media that understand this is a playoff game in the NFL and the strong bias for one team or another is founded more in the fanatical thinking of fans than it is in realistic thinking.
As I have said all week, I think the stage is perfectly set for the Saints to beat the Seahawks Saturday in Seattle. I know how motivation is derived from being an underdog, and that is more powerful than being the expected favorite in football – or in life. I am also confident in all the ways Sean Payton uses the underdog status to motivate the Saints. But I have also been quick to remember that blindly thinking that your team is the only team that has a chance to win is not only shallow, but it also sets one up for great disappointment should the outcome be different from the unwavering prediction.
At this level of play in the NFL, it is often the intangibles more than the records and the match-ups that determine which team wins a game. There are countless documented cases of individuals gaining an unprecedented ability beyond their capacity in responding to certain dramatic situations. This demonstrates the power of the human factor of emotion and this is what I think the Saints have over the Seahawks in this playoff game.
However, the Seahawks are a young, intelligent team with a talented quarterback in Russell Wilson. The Saints are led by a tested record-setting veteran QB in Drew Brees. With the pressure of the playoff game in Seattle in front of their 12th Man crowd that expects the Seahawks to win, I see Rob Ryan’s defense throwing Wilson out of sync, while the experience and talent of Brees prevails. I also envision our running game, led by Mark Ingram’s newfound passion, to shock the Seahawks defense and open up the passing game. Brees did not have a good game against the Eagles last weekend and I don’t expect him to have two consecutive sub-par games.
But the Seahawks are a very talented team in all phases of the game and their 13-3 record proves just that. The motivation of the crowd at CenturyLink Field gives the Seahawks the same advantage the Saints have when they play at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints have also suffered key injuries and a few key players are fighting pain as they play.
If you are part of the Who Dat Nation, the healthier way to approach this playoff game in Seattle is to cheer for the Saints and hope they win, but do not set a definite outcome based simply on what you want to happen.
Fans can never demand their team win; fans can only demand a good game, and I think that’s a definite guarantee tomorrow!
Most of the national media and most of the nation are predicting the Seahawks to beat the Saints in the playoff game Saturday in Seattle. Those predictions are based on the Saints’ embarrassing loss to the Seahawks back on December 2, along with Saints injuries and the high-caliber performance of the Seahawks this season.
Every year, there are anointed favorites in the NFL and this year the Seattle Seahawks seem to be one of them. It is also fair to say that with the exception of the 2009-2010 season when the Saints won the Super Bowl and represented the comeback of the beloved city of New Orleans following Katrina, the Saints have not been one of the more respected teams in the NFL. Respect for the Saints has changed since Sean Payton and Drew Brees have been running the team, but we often find ourselves feeling like “it’s us against the world.”
The city of New Orleans is loved as a party destination and there seems to be little doubt that this city if the best place to host a Super Bowl. But there is also a national temptation to disregard New Orleans; our crime rate, litter, corruption and the image of a city that places more priority on partying than on trying to be effectively run all led to bashing New Orleans at every opportunity.
I am proud to be from New Orleans and I am also fortunate to have worked and lived in great cities around the country. It is with complete and honest acknowledgement of the reality of our problems that I can still recognize the rebirth of this great city after Katrina. I find it interesting that when there are countless shootings in Chicago over a weekend, absent is the national outcry about what a terrible city Chicago is, and how people should not travel to Chicago. For whatever reason, New Orleans seems to fight for respect in most categories, and that includes our football team.
The Seahawks are an excellent team and their 13-3 record speaks for itself; and it is possible that the Seahawks will beat us on Saturday. There does seem to be a consensus that Saturday’s playoff game will not be a repeat of the 34-7 blowout on December 2, but the overwhelming lack of respect for the Saints is still worth noting.
A perfect example of that lack of respect for the Saints against the Seahawks is the movie trailer-like video that NFL.com produced to promote the game. The video uses the theme of “Oh the horror!” as it features audio and video that give the impression that the Saints and Coach Payton are scared of the Seahawks. Other NFL.com videos don't have a negative view of a team like the one about the Saints/Seahawks game does.
A recent Scoot Blog, which is still getting a lot of action at WWL.com is titled, “Why the Saints should beat the Seahawks in Seattle.” In the blog I write about how the stage appears set for the Saints to take advantage of the emotion factor, which I think is in their favor. But the Saints will have to work for this win.
On a personal level, there have been many times in my career when I have been the underdog and I actually thrive on that. There is always more pressure on being the favorite and the pressure is clearly on the Seahawks as one of the anointed teams that many expect to be in the Super Bowl this year.
I also like the way Sean Payton prepares the Saints, mentally as well as physically. If the Saints get off the a strong start in the game, that will force the Seahawks feel the pressure to live up to the high expectations of their fans, the media and the sports pundits across the country predicting a Seahawks win.
Individuals and teams all have subconscious voices in their heads. Those voices have the ability to produce the questioning of one’s ability. Intellectually, we try to silence those voices, but often those voices are louder than our conscious rationality.
Looking back on the first game in Seattle last month, I think the Saints started to hear those subconscious voices at the beginning of game telling them they “can’t win on the road in bad weather,” “Seattle always beats you at home” and the Seahawks surprisingly beat them in a playoff game in Seattle in 2011.
Last Saturday night in Philadelphia, the Saints made the Eagles hear the haunting voices that they "don’t go far in the playoffs" and they "were 4-4 in front of their home crowd." There was more pressure on the Eagles than on the Saints.
In this playoff game Saturday in Seattle, there is more pressure on the Seahawks than on the Saints and that is a great state of mind for the Saints to be in! Imagine if the Saints win a second playoff game on the road in adverse weather? I can’t wait to hear the national media and those noisy Seahawks’ fan after that game!
If your religious beliefs are recognized by the government, then someone else’s religious beliefs must be recognized by the government too. Is that OK with you? What if that someone else worships Satan?
In America, we respect freedom of religion, not the freedom to only recognize certain religions. As a reaction to the Oklahoma state legislature allowing a Ten Commandments monument to be placed at the Oklahoma Capitol building in 2012, a satanic group has revealed a design for a 7-foot statue of Satan that it wants placed at the Capitol building near the Ten Commandments monument. The New York-based Satanic Temple believes the decision by the legislature to allow a Ten Commandments monument on state property opens the door for their religion to be represented.
The proposed statue depicts Satan as a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard. Satan is sitting on a throne with a pentagram and is accompanied by smiling children. The Satanic Temple says, “The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond. The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.” That makes Satan seem like a loving, caring grandfather.
The idea of a monument to the Ten Commandments on public property is acceptable to many people, but the idea of a statue of Satan on public property is appalling. When the government recognizes one religion, where should the line be drawn when it comes to the recognition of other religions?
It has always been my understanding that American was founded on freedom of religion, not on Christian beliefs. The fact that most of those who settled in America were Christians does not supersede the concept of freedom of religion, which would mean respect for freedom of any and all religions. Often lost is the true intent of those who came to America to escape religious persecution; their intent was to establish a land where individuals were free to express their religious beliefs regardless of what they were. The freedom to express religious beliefs was more important than the actual, specific religious beliefs of the earliest settlers.
Those who support and promote monuments to the Ten Commandments on city, state or federal land are inviting any and all religions to be equally represented. Many may argue that worshiping Satan is not actually a religion, but how exactly would one disqualify satanic worship as anything but a set of religious beliefs?
My position of defending freedom of religion in this case will be easily misunderstood as support of Satan worshippers, but it is actually support for the founding principles of this country. If it meant allowing a statue of Satan to be placed on the Oklahoma State Capitol property, would you still support a monument or a reference to the Ten Commandments (any Christian symbols9 on such property?
The common argument is that Christians dominate America, therefore Christianity should be accepted without the equal acceptance of other religions. Again, this is America, and in this country we protect the rights of minority groups as much as we protect the rights of the majority. Our history and the Bill of Rights point out our patriotic respect for those who are not part of our majority and that is worth recognizing and celebrating!
I don’t believe that a monument to the Ten Commandments will convert people to Christianity any more than I believe a statue of Satan will suddenly lead people to become satanic worshippers. Our religious beliefs and convictions should be strong enough so that tangible symbols of another religion do not make us less committed to our own religious beliefs, and our beliefs and tangible symbols like statues should not be needed to make our beliefs and convictions strong.
Freedom is easily defended when you believe in the ideas being freely expressed. Our challenge in America is to understand that true freedom – the freedom which is the foundation of this country – also includes the expressions with which we disagree.
As an admitted germaphobe, I face a daily battle in the war against potential germs, and that war intensifies during the flu season. If you, too, are a germaphobe, you are not alone!
I don’t mean to appear insensitive to those who are suffering with the flu and are forced to venture out in public places or go to work, but when I see and hear coughing in public that goes unprotected and is deploying troops of germs into the flu war zone, I run for cover! In church this past Sunday, I positioned myself in an area of pews where there was no one was in front of me or behind me. I probably shouldn’t be this honest about my personal idiosyncrasies in public settings, but honesty is one of the steps toward dealing with being a germaphobe.
After mass started, a family sat in the pew in front of me – how dare they! When one of them started coughing, my first instinct was to retreat, and that I did. I’m sure there were a few people in church wondering why I suddenly decided to move to another pew, but my desire to seek refuge from possible flu germs was more powerful than the slight embarrassment I might suffer.
For the record, I did get a flu shot early in the season, as I usually do, and while that is what I consider good protective armor in the war against the flu, I don’t take for granted that it’s enough protection.
One of the problems in the war against flu germs is that the enemy is invisible! The enemy can sneak up on you, or be waiting in ambush attack mode for you to come into sight. I see people at the grocery stores using the disinfecting wipes positioned at the doors when they enter the store. I use them when I leave the store! Touching the handle of the grocery basket, touching items in the store and occasionally shaking hands with someone who introduces themselves to me in the store inspire me to use the disinfecting wipes as I’m on my way out.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am honored to meet anyone who recognizes me in a public setting, and I love meeting people who listen to the show, and I have no problem shaking hands with anyone. But I admit that at some point I will use wipes or wash my hands after I have ventured through a public war zone of germs!
When I get home from the store and touch the door handle of my apartment building and then hit the elevator button, I am eager to wash my hands when I get into my apartment. I also realize that I have touched my keys after touching the door handle and elevator button so I must use a wipe on my keys. When I am walking down the street and someone walking near me coughs or sneezes, I hold my breath as I walk through the area where they may have just launched flu germs into the atmosphere.
I admit that as a soldier in the war against flu germs this time of year, my strategy is extreme and my behavior is irrational; but if you are a germaphobe, like me, these concerns and actions become part of your instincts to survive the flu season.
I’m intelligent enough to understand that we must all be exposed to germs to allow our immune system to build up the forces it needs to defeat any flu germs that infiltrate the demilitarized zone we have created around ourselves, but somehow the fear of germs is greater than rational thinking – which further demonstrates how difficult life is for us germaphobes!
And then there is the workplace! This time of year there is coughing that goes unprotected in the hallways and if someone does attempt to protect their cough with a hand, I have to think about what they might touch next! With no disrespect for those in the studio before I start my show, I wipe down the mic, the on/off switch, the keyboard, the mouse, the phone buttons I hit to put callers on the air and the entire studio counter with disinfecting wipes. I’m exhausted before the show even starts – but my mind is at ease and I can focus on the show.
Every year, I see people at work who are sick or getting sick and often the people who work closely with them get sick, too. If you are sick, I hope you are encouraged to stay home because you have the potential to infect others. Unfortunately, many bosses expect you to be at work no matter what.
In general, we should all be more respectful of others. Not only must we protect ourselves from flu germs, but those who are sick could do a lot more toward preventing others from getting sick. Unprotected coughing and sneezing in public or at work is rude. In Japan, I saw some people walking around wearing surgical masks and my first thought, as a germaphobe, was that they were afraid of catching something from others. I discovered that many of them were actually sick and they were wearing the surgical masks out of consideration of others they might infect. There is no excuse for the overwhelming lack of respect for others during the flu season or any time of year.
Especially this time of year, think about anything you touch that others have touched before you, and then think about what you touch that might be destined for your mouth. And if you are sick, be considerate of others.
I realize that my battles against germs during the flu season (which includes getting the flu shot) does not make me invincible, but I will always maintain a vigilant fight against the enemy!
The day after the Saints were dominated by the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, I said on my show on WWL that the stage was set for the Saints to not only get revenge for that loss and for the Seahawks knocking them out of the playoffs in 2011, but also to silence the critics that say the Saints can’t win in the playoffs on the road. Saturday night the Saints did a lot to silence the critics when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24, winning their 1st playoff game on the road in team history - and it was a very cold outdoor game!
So, the stage is set for the Saints Saturday in Seattle! Here’s why I think the Saints should beat the Seahawks in Seattle and move on in the playoffs:
• In 2011, the Seahawks were not expected to beat the Saints in a playoff game and the Seahawks dominated the Saints
• This season, the Seahawks embarrassed the Saints on Monday Night Football with a 34-7 win
• The Seahawks were 2-2 in their final 4 regular-season games this year - losing to the 49ers in San Francisco, and they were beaten at home by the Cardinals
• The Seahawks are not invincible, and no team consistently beats the same team in the NFL
I always talk about football beyond the match-ups, the records and the statistics because at that level of play, the game is as mental as it is physical. After the Monday night game in Seattle, I said that I thought the special ear plugs the Saints wore to cut down on the 12th-Man noise factor was a big mistake. The ear plugs were something foreign in their ears and that could not only throw them out of sync, but was also a physical reminder that they were in enemy territory and were at a disadvantage.
We all have voices in our heads and for someone who has dealt with an extreme case of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) all of his life, I know all too well how those voices can rob you of your confidence. When things began to go terribly wrong at the very beginning of that Monday night game against the Seahawks, those voices may have been subconsciously reminding the Saints what was written and said about them going into the game; the Saints are not good on the road in adverse weather. This is just a theory, but could the ear plugs have amplified the volume of those voices?
Sean Payton understands the mental aspect of football. Facing the challenge of a playoff road game in very cold weather in an outdoor stadium in front of hostile fans, Coach Payton did a few things to make the Saints focus on positive thinking that might silence those subconscious voices reminding them about all the things that were being said about them on the road in Philly:
• Gas cans in the locker room, which was a way to ask the players if they had enough “gas” left to win
• New travel sweat suits
• Switched from red to green Gatorade
• Had a music video made and played it for the players; Brees and other players playing in extremely cold weather set to Bing Crosby’s “Winter Wonderland” with dry ice in the room to create the effect of extremely cold weather. This reminded the Saints that they have been in that situation before.
• And Popeyes Fried Chicken on the team plane!
These may seem like superficial things, but we all hear voices in our heads; voices that remind us of consistent obstacles or patterns of failure. Now, with Saturday’s playoff win on the road in Philadelphia – in the cold – the Saints have silenced the voices in their heads as they head to Seattle for their playoff game against the Seahawks, and I think the Saints will carry a new confidence with them.
In my tendency to use football and sports as a metaphor for life, there may be a personal lesson that can be learned from the Saints changing a few seemingly insignificant things to inspire positive feelings to drown out thoughts of past negative patterns.
If there is any pattern of negative outcomes in your life, then find things that you might do differently. And it could be simple things, like, starting a new routine or habit, taking a slightly different way to work, buy a new calendar and start fresh with the ways you keep daily notes and schedules, try a new look with clothes or hair or anything that makes you feel just a little different. So much in life is simply mind over matter.
If nothing else – start eating Popeyes Fried Chicken!